AT&T has announced its plan to end its old 2G network by 2017. In a SEC filing today, the telecommunications giant said that it will be shutting down its second-generation network in order to focus more on upgrading its systems. Although the telecom giant mentioned that about 12 percent of its customers under contract are still using 2G handsets, the company added that it will be “proactively” asking those customers to upgrade their devices along the way. Additionally, AT&T said that it will no longer sell 2G handsets to its contract or prepaid customers and that the transition away from GSM and EDGE networks will be on a market-by-market basis. AT&T expects its 2G network to be fully discontinued beginning January 1, 2017.
“We expect to fully discontinue service on our 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017. Throughout this multi-year upgrade process, we will work proactively with our customers to manage the process of moving to 3G and 4G devices, which will help minimize customer churn. As of June 30, 2012, approximately 12 percent of our postpaid customers were using 2G handsets. We do not expect this transition to have a material impact on our operating results, but will continue to evaluate the financial impact of transitioning customers from 2G devices to 3G or 4G devices,” AT&T said.